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The history of the Zoological Garden, Alipore dates back as far as 1842. In 1842, Dr. John McCleland the Curator, Bengal Asiatic Society’s Museum formulated a plan For establishment of Zoological Garden in Calcutta which was published in the Calcutta Journal of Natural History entitled “Proposal to form a Zoological Garden in Calcutta” But the said plan did not attract any notice at that time.

                        Dr. Joseph Bart Fayrer, the then President of Asiatic Society of Bengal formulated another plan in 1867 for establishment of a zoo. The plan had immense impact on the public, But due to non-availability of suitable site, the said plan could not be materialized.

                        In 1873, Carl Louis Schwendler, Postmaster to the Government of India submitted a suitable plan for establishing a zoological garden. Due to non-availability of suitable site, the sSaid plan was kept in abeyance.


      Finally, in 1875, the then Lt. Government of Bengal, Sir Richard Temple constituted
A Committee to find out a suitable site for establishing a zoological garden. The said Committee chose the land on each side of the Alipore Road leading from Zerrut Bridge to
Belvedere.

                        The site was approved by the Lt. Governor of Bengal on 24th September, 1875.

A sum of Rs.5000/- was sanctioned for the immediate purpose of laying out only a part Of the grounds on the Western side of the Belvedere Road and erecting only a few cheap And temporary structures for the reception of animals. Mr. Schwendler readily donated His fine collection of specimens and by December, 1875 a sizeable menagerie was established with the spontaneous contributions from a number of donors.

The first Committee of Management was set up under a Government resolution of December 9, 1875 and the Managing Committee comprising of five members met for the first time on 10th December, 1875.

                        The Managing Committee then settled the rates of admission fees and threw open
Gate of the Zoological Garden, Alipore on the 1st of May, 1876.

                        The history of the Zoological Garden, Alipore would be incomplete without paying tribute to Rai Bahadur Ram Brahma Sanyal who was the first Superintendent of the Zoological Garden, Alipore. After inception of the Zoological Garden, Alipore, the then Managing Committee of the zoo wanted to engage a suitable candidate as the Superintendent Of the zoo. Dr. George King, Professor of Botany of the Medical College of Calcutta and of the Managing Committee of the zoo, engaged Ram Brahma Sanyal who was a medical student and was unable to continue his studies due to problems with his eyesight, as an ordinary worker in the Year, 1876. Sanyal worked hard and in a few months he was promoted and given more responsibilities including nutrition and medical care of the growing number
of animals. Pursuant to the recommendation of the Managing Committee of the Zoological Garden, Alipore, Shri Ram Brahma Sanyal started to work as the acting Superintendent of the zoo from Alipore, 1878. Finally, he was appointed as the Superintendent of the Zoological Garden, Alipore in April,1880.

                        Ram Brahma Sanyal used to record all his observations in respect of the housing, Feeding, reproductive behavior and treatment of captive wild animals in the daily registers of the Zoological Garden, Alipore. All these observations encouraged him to write the book, “A Handbook Of The Management of Wild Animals In Captivity In Lower Bengal”. This book was the first of its kind and was published in the year 1892.                       

A review of the said book was published in the leading scientific journal, “Nature” and soon after the publication of the said review in “Nature”, Shri Sanyal became Famous in his field and was made corresponding Member of Zoological Society of London.

 

 

 

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